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Any Advice for a Newcomer looking to buy an NSX

Joined
23 March 2005
Messages
256
Location
St. Louis, MO
I just found this site by chance when I was googling and I'm just blown away. I just started thinking about buying one of these cars, I've loved this car ever since I saw one at an auto show in St. Louis, probably about 7 years ago. I now have the means to actually buy one of these. I'm looking at spending $25-35K, I was originally considering a new 350Z or RX-8, but I see too darn many of those cars around and the styling doesn't always excite me. I figured I could get an NSX as a weekend driver and possibly for the same price or cheaper, as long as I don't mind a used car (which I don't). I plan on doing quite a bit more research on this site before buying, but in the meantime I was hoping I could get some advice. I have a few questions, and if anyone cares to share their opinions/insight/knowledge, I would greatly appreciate it.

(1) I will probably end up buying a pre-95 model, for those of you who own one of these years, what are you thoughts. I'm obviously buying a manual (no real car enthusiast would buy an automatic, IMO) and noticed that the pre-95 models don't have power steering. Is this an issue worth worrying about, i.e. how much of a pain is it not having the power steering?

(2) I know the clearance on these cars isn't much, but how big of a problem is it? I'm a little concerned, as I just built a new house and the driveway is somewhat sloped - the garage is also slightly sloped, so at least the ground doesn't completely level out when I enter, but I am concerned that I might have problems. Any comparable cars? Anyone have any similar experiences? I could probably send over a scan of the front of my house if anyone cares to share their opinion.

(3) I'm sure I'll have more questions as I continue to flip through this site, but it's getting late and I can't think of much more at this point. I did see an ebay auction I really liked, anyone have any thoughts on this car and/or what a reasonable price would be? http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=4534864140&category=5337

I really like the black exterior, I also love the red, but only on the models where the exterior is all red, not the red w/ the black frame around the windows, windshield, etc. - on a side note, what year did they stop doing that?

Anyways, your thoughts and opinions are appreciated, I'm looking forward to doing some more research on this amazingly extensive site.
 
jkeen01 said:
I just found this site by chance when I was googling and I'm just blown away. I just started thinking about buying one of these cars, I've loved this car ever since I saw one at an auto show in St. Louis, probably about 7 years ago. I now have the means to actually buy one of these. I'm looking at spending $25-35K, I was originally considering a new 350Z or RX-8, but I see too darn many of those cars around and the styling doesn't always excite me. I figured I could get an NSX as a weekend driver and possibly for the same price or cheaper, as long as I don't mind a used car (which I don't). I plan on doing quite a bit more research on this site before buying, but in the meantime I was hoping I could get some advice. I have a few questions, and if anyone cares to share their opinions/insight/knowledge, I would greatly appreciate it.

(1) I will probably end up buying a pre-95 model, for those of you who own one of these years, what are you thoughts. I'm obviously buying a manual (no real car enthusiast would buy an automatic, IMO) and noticed that the pre-95 models don't have power steering. Is this an issue worth worrying about, i.e. how much of a pain is it not having the power steering?

(2) I know the clearance on these cars isn't much, but how big of a problem is it? I'm a little concerned, as I just built a new house and the driveway is somewhat sloped - the garage is also slightly sloped, so at least the ground doesn't completely level out when I enter, but I am concerned that I might have problems. Any comparable cars? Anyone have any similar experiences? I could probably send over a scan of the front of my house if anyone cares to share their opinion.

(3) I'm sure I'll have more questions as I continue to flip through this site, but it's getting late and I can't think of much more at this point. I did see an ebay auction I really liked, anyone have any thoughts on this car and/or what a reasonable price would be? http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=4534864140&category=5337

I really like the black exterior, I also love the red, but only on the models where the exterior is all red, not the red w/ the black frame around the windows, windshield, etc. - on a side note, what year did they stop doing that?

Anyways, your thoughts and opinions are appreciated, I'm looking forward to doing some more research on this amazingly extensive site.

My first piece of advice to you is to spend some time going through the FAQ's on this site. I know it sounds like I'm being a smart ass but I'm not. There's a grip of very good information in there that will answer 90% of anybody's questions.

I'm not sure how much help I can be to you but let me try.

1) Not having the power steering, IMO, isn't an issue at all. The 1991 and 1994 cars that I drove were only difficult to drive at very slow speeds. Once you're even up to moderate parking lot speeds there's no issue. And frankly once you're at speed I think the non-power steering is better than the electric steering in my 1998.
2) The NSX is extremely low, in my experience, for a production car. We owned two S2000's before the NSX and I thought I would be prepared for how low the car is. I wasn't. It's not too bad to get used to but like you, my drive way has a slope to it that requires extra care. I can only enter and exit my drive way at a certain angle and at slow, slow, slow speed without scraping the splitter. I think the 1997+ splitter is lower than on earlier cars so that might not be helping me out. The other thing to consider is ingress/egress. For a "exotic" car the NSX is very easy to get in and out of. However, it's still not your typical passenger car. The doors are long, if your short like me you don't have too much room anyway and the car is very low. Just something to consider.
3) No input on that car.

As to the roof color, the non-targa cars have the black roof (for the most part) I say that because the Zanardi cars got a red roof and I think some of the Brooklands green cars got a green roof without being t's. I don't think that any cars came from the factory 1991 - 1994 w/o the black roofs (except maybe some brooklands green cars).

Personally, I reallly like the black roof as it helps with the "fighter cockpit" idea the designers were going for. But that's just me.

Get involved here and see if there isn't an active group of owners in your area. In my experience, NSX guys/gals are some of the nicest enthusiasts around and I'm sure you'll find plenty of people who are willing to talk your ear off. You're probably going get a ride out of it and who knows... you might find an owner willing to let you take the wheel.

Good luck.
 
save plenty of $$ for rear tires :biggrin:
 
jkeen01 said:
I just found this site by chance when I was googling and I'm just blown away. I just started thinking about buying one of these cars, I've loved this car ever since I saw one at an auto show in St. Louis, probably about 7 years ago. I now have the means to actually buy one of these. I'm looking at spending $25-35K, I was originally considering a new 350Z or RX-8, but I see too darn many of those cars around and the styling doesn't always excite me. I figured I could get an NSX as a weekend driver and possibly for the same price or cheaper, as long as I don't mind a used car (which I don't). I plan on doing quite a bit more research on this site before buying, but in the meantime I was hoping I could get some advice. I have a few questions, and if anyone cares to share their opinions/insight/knowledge, I would greatly appreciate it.

(1) I will probably end up buying a pre-95 model, for those of you who own one of these years, what are you thoughts. I'm obviously buying a manual (no real car enthusiast would buy an automatic, IMO) and noticed that the pre-95 models don't have power steering. Is this an issue worth worrying about, i.e. how much of a pain is it not having the power steering?

(2) I know the clearance on these cars isn't much, but how big of a problem is it? I'm a little concerned, as I just built a new house and the driveway is somewhat sloped - the garage is also slightly sloped, so at least the ground doesn't completely level out when I enter, but I am concerned that I might have problems. Any comparable cars? Anyone have any similar experiences? I could probably send over a scan of the front of my house if anyone cares to share their opinion.

(3) I'm sure I'll have more questions as I continue to flip through this site, but it's getting late and I can't think of much more at this point. I did see an ebay auction I really liked, anyone have any thoughts on this car and/or what a reasonable price would be? http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=4534864140&category=5337

I really like the black exterior, I also love the red, but only on the models where the exterior is all red, not the red w/ the black frame around the windows, windshield, etc. - on a side note, what year did they stop doing that?

Anyways, your thoughts and opinions are appreciated, I'm looking forward to doing some more research on this amazingly extensive site.

I just spent several months doing my homework (mostly lurking on this website) before buying an NSX and here is my thought process. It may answer some of your questions I think.
Note these are only my opinions and as always personal preference is a major factor. Also in terms of choosing a particular model over another there are no bad NSXs. I apologize for the long rant but it’s therapeutic for me :smile: .
Ok so I just sold my Carrera 3.2 (Man that was a fun car!) and I want an NSX. The Targa looks like fun but it’s a bit heavier and less stiff, I’m sure it doesn’t make that much difference but let’s go with the coup. OK I want a 97 + because then I get the 6 speed box and the 3.2 engine. I’m not sure if I have enough money for a 97 but if I can find a deal on one I might be able to stretch to it. I don’t seem to see a lot of 97 + coups for sale? In fact I can’t find any. Back to the FAQ and more homework… Ah that’s because they only imported 4 non Targa in 97 into the USA and I bet half of them are wrapped around a tree by now so forget that. So all 95+ cars have power steering and I don’t want that and virtually all of them are Targas. Hmm what’s this? A Zanardi limited edition only 50 made in 99. It’s a coup with 3.2 and 6 speed and they deleted the power steering to be more sporty (saves weight and better feedback) Perfect! How much? Crap! Can’t afford that. Ok so I’m looking at a 91 to 94. 91 and 92 had the snap ring transmission issue on some cars and if I can avoid them I avoid the stigma and having to worry about serial # on gearboxes. Plus I get a cup holder! Just kidding that I care about the cup holder. OK so 93 or 94. I like the stock wheels. They are forged, light and strong, they have the correct offset for the suspension geometry as God and Honda intended and I like the look too. In 94 the cars switched from 15 and 16 inch wheels to 16 and 17. I like the 16 and 17 so I will get a 94 or buy a 93 and switch out the wheels for 16 and 17 oem.
 
SugrueNSX said:
91 and 92 had the snap ring transmission issue on some cars and if I can avoid them I avoid the stigma and having to worry about serial # on gearboxes.
Except that these were the big sales years (half the cars sold in the United States were for those two years), and 80 percent of the '91 cars (those with VIN less than approximately MT002500) were NOT in the snap ring range.

I wouldn't be afraid to buy a car in the snap ring range, anyway, as long as I got a nice discount on the purchase. After all, you can always have it fixed on a preventive basis for a one-time expenditure of around $2K...
 
nsxtasy said:
Except that these were the big sales years (half the cars sold in the United States were for those two years), and 80 percent of the '91 cars (those with VIN less than approximately MT002500) were NOT in the snap ring range.

I wouldn't be afraid to buy a car in the snap ring range, anyway, as long as I got a nice discount on the purchase. After all, you can always have it fixed on a preventive basis for a one-time expenditure of around $2K...

Both very valid points and if the price is right relative to the car you have to buy it right?
But how could you consider buying an NSX without a cup holder? :smile:
 
Da Hapa said:
My first piece of advice to you is to spend some time going through the FAQ's on this site. I know it sounds like I'm being a smart ass but I'm not. There's a grip of very good information in there that will answer 90% of anybody's questions.

I'm not sure how much help I can be to you but let me try.

1) Not having the power steering, IMO, isn't an issue at all. The 1991 and 1994 cars that I drove were only difficult to drive at very slow speeds. Once you're even up to moderate parking lot speeds there's no issue. And frankly once you're at speed I think the non-power steering is better than the electric steering in my 1998.
2) The NSX is extremely low, in my experience, for a production car. We owned two S2000's before the NSX and I thought I would be prepared for how low the car is. I wasn't. It's not too bad to get used to but like you, my drive way has a slope to it that requires extra care. I can only enter and exit my drive way at a certain angle and at slow, slow, slow speed without scraping the splitter. I think the 1997+ splitter is lower than on earlier cars so that might not be helping me out. The other thing to consider is ingress/egress. For a "exotic" car the NSX is very easy to get in and out of. However, it's still not your typical passenger car. The doors are long, if your short like me you don't have too much room anyway and the car is very low. Just something to consider.
3) No input on that car.

As to the roof color, the non-targa cars have the black roof (for the most part) I say that because the Zanardi cars got a red roof and I think some of the Brooklands green cars got a green roof without being t's. I don't think that any cars came from the factory 1991 - 1994 w/o the black roofs (except maybe some brooklands green cars).

Personally, I reallly like the black roof as it helps with the "fighter cockpit" idea the designers were going for. But that's just me.

Get involved here and see if there isn't an active group of owners in your area. In my experience, NSX guys/gals are some of the nicest enthusiasts around and I'm sure you'll find plenty of people who are willing to talk your ear off. You're probably going get a ride out of it and who knows... you might find an owner willing to let you take the wheel.

Good luck.

I appreciate the advice, just had a quick question in re: to your driveway. Do you have a picture available? And what should I be worried about as far as scraping my driveway when I pull in? Is it the nose of the car, or some of the parts underneath? Would it make a difference if you back the car in? This is really my one hold-up, I just built a new house, so I won't be selling any time soon; if my driveway won't work for the car, then I'm going to have to wait a while until I think about purchasing one. I really just need to find one of my local Acura dealers and see if they ever have a used one that I can test drive and possibly check out, but in the meantime, I'm trying to learn as much as possible.
 
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